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Workers’ Compensation Refresher

By May 7, 2021June 28th, 2021Workers Compensation
Workers’ Compensation Refresher

Workplace accidents are an unfortunate, yet common occurrence at dangerous job sites, and even work environments that aren’t inherently risky. Workers’ compensation protects you in the case that you are injured or become ill at work. It’s important that you know exactly what to do in this event! Here are some quick workers’ compensation facts for an accurate and up-to-date refresh.

Workers’ Compensation Overview

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is insurance that helps protect businesses and their employees from financial loss when an employee suffers from a work-related injury or illness. Specifically, the insurance helps cover medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation costs.

Workers’ compensation programs are administered by states. Employers are required to pay into workers’ compensation funds or self-insurance (in all states except Texas), and benefits are paid to workers who become ill or injured at work. State workers’ compensation policies may differ in who is covered, types of injuries or illnesses that are covered and proof, excluded injuries, statutes of limitations and employer defenses against claims.

In New York, the workers’ compensation program is underwritten by the New York State Insurance Fund in conjunction with private insurance companies. It is overseen by the New York Workers Compensation Board and the New York Department of Financial Services.

What Types of Conditions does NYS Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation covers long-term illnesses and injuries as well as incidents. New York State Workers’ Compensation laws cover two types of work-induced conditions; accidental injuries and occupational diseases.

Accidental injuries are injuries to muscles, bones and connective tissue that occur on the job. Examples of accidental injuries include fractures, dislocations, lacerations and burns.

Occupational diseases are chronic health conditions that develop over a long period of time caused by work activities or environmental conditions in the workplace. Examples of occupational diseases include carpal tunnel syndrome, asbestosis, tendonitis, cancer, hearing loss and exposure to toxic chemicals.

How do Workers’ Compensation Claims Work?

Many important decisions about your case are made early in the process, so deadlines are critical! If you are injured at work, you must provide written notice of the injury to your employer within 30 days of the injury occurring. A claim must be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Board and your workers’ comp insurance carrier within two years of the injury. If you have an occupational disease, the claim should be filed no more than two years from when you realized the condition was work-related.

Once you’ve filed all of your paperwork, your insurance provider will decide whether your claim is valid. Using their own medical treatment guidelines, they’ll determine how long they’ll pay for treatment. The Workers’ Compensation Board exists to determine the merits of an injured employee’s workers’ compensation claim in the event the employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier refuses to pay. If the insurance carrier believes the injury is work-related, or the Workers’ Compensation Board orders payment, the injured employee’s medical bills will be taken care of.

If you are unable to work, or if you go back to work and your injury or illness prevents you from earning the same wage as before, you may be entitled to a benefit that makes up two-thirds of the difference in your salary. A qualified workers’ compensation attorney can assist in making sure you get the benefits you deserve.

Other Workers’ Compensation Facts

Employees may be able to sue an employer for workplace injuries.

Although workers’ compensation payments don’t usually allow employee lawsuits against employers, there are some circumstances in which an employee can still sue an employer for an injury that occurred on the job. If the injury was intentional on the part of the employer or if the injury occurred outside the scope of the worker’s job assignment, the employee can sue.

Some workplace injuries are outside the scope of workers’ compensation.

Some injuries or illnesses that occur on the job may not be eligible for workers’
compensation benefits. If the injury was self-inflicted, if the injury happened during the commission of a crime, if the employee violated company policy or if the employee was not on the job when the event happened, they will not be compensated by workers’ compensation.

Payment for pain and suffering is not included in workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation claims cover medical expenses, lost wages and financial support for disabilities. However, they do not compensate for pain and suffering endured after an accident that occurred at work.

You can be paid Social Security and worker’s compensation at the same time.

If you qualify for both disability benefits and workers’ compensation, you can receive both at the same time, however, your Social Security benefits may be reduced or taxed.

Employees cannot be discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Under both federal and state laws, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. New York State Workers’ Compensation Law Section 125 makes it unlawful for any employer to inquire whether a job applicant has filed a claim for compensation benefits or discriminate in hiring an applicant who has filed a claim.